3 sus­pects hit cars in north Man­teca 29 AUTO BUR­GLAR­IES

Po­lice: Don’t leave items vis­i­ble in your car

Ripon Bulletin - - Front Page - By DENNIS WY­ATT

Crim­i­nals went on a spree in the wee hours on Wed­nes­day smash­ing car win­dows to com­mit 29 auto bur­glar­ies.

Twenty-three hap­pened in North Man­teca neigh­bor­hoods south of Lathrop Road that were re­ported to Man­teca Po­lice. An­other six oc­curred in Ray­mus Vil­lage, a sub­di­vi­sion just out­side of the Man­teca city lim­its north­east of the Highway 99 and Lathrop Road in­ter­change. In­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the San Joaquin County Sher­iff’s Depart­ment has led Man­teca Po­lice to con­clude the in­ci­dents within the city lim­its are re­lated.

Video sur­veil­lance was ob­tained from res­i­dences in the ar­eas where the ve­hi­cle bur­glar­ies oc­curred. The video in­di­cates three sus­pects were in­volved.

The auto bur­glar­ies from Wed­nes­day were al­most a tenth of all such in­ci­dents in Man­teca dur­ing the first seven months of the year. Auto bur­glar­ies from Jan­uary through July were down 19.66 per­cent for the same pe­riod in 2016 go­ing from 351 to 282.

Po­lice re­mind res­i­dents that “auto bur­glary is a crime of op­por­tu­nity.” It takes just sec­onds to smash a win­dow and grab some­thing. It’s a crime that you can re­duce the chances of you be­com­ing a vic­tim of greatly if you don’t leave things in view, even a towel.

And if you don’t be­lieve a towel or an empty box can prompt a crim­i­nal to break your car’s win­dow, just ask for­mer Po­lice Chief Char­lie Hal­ford who learned the hard way that thieves don’t have X-ray vi­sion.

He had gone to the theater com­plex a few years back that was lo­cated in the Man­teca Mar­ket­place where Big Lots is today. He left noth­ing of value in view in his SUV al­though there was an empty box.

When he came out of the movie crim­i­nals had shat­tered a win­dow to grab the box.

Po­lice see over and over again how crim­i­nals will see any­thing like a gym bag or loose change and if they can break into your ve­hi­cle with­out be­ing de­tected to see if it is any­thing of value they will do it.

Even if you lose noth­ing of value, the win­dow re­place­ment typ­i­cally runs in ex­cess of $200.

Even plac­ing items in your trunk may not save you from be­ing a vic­tim of theft.

Ev­ery year in Man­teca shop­ping cen­ter park­ing lots peo­ple have pur­chases stolen from their trunk. That’s be­cause crim­i­nals will wait pa­tiently to see who comes in and out of stores. If they see you come out, place items in your trunk, and then go into an­other store they will wait un­til you are in­side and them jimmy open the trunk or smash the driver’s win­dow and re­lease the trunk latch.

Photo con­trib­uted

This video shows one of the sus­pects in a hooded sweat­shirt near a ve­hi­cle parked in the drive­way of a res­i­dence. The orange, 2-door car pic­tured in the back­ground is the sus­pect ve­hi­cle.

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